The murder of an Infosys engineer at the company’s Pune facility has sent shockwaves across the IT sector with many questioning whether security employees hired for software parks are vetted before appointment.
A 25-year-old woman identified as Rasila Raju OP was found strangled with a computer cable on the floor of a conference room at her workplace in the Hinjewadi IT Park near Pune late on Sunday evening.
Within hours, the police arrested a security guard from Mumbai in connection with the crime, sending alarm bells ringing across the IT sector.
Infosys officials – who requested for anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media – told HT that security had been outsourced to another firm, which was responsible for carrying out verification of staff prior to recruitment.
Estimates suggest more than 300 IT companied located in and around Pune employ around 400,000 people with firms such as Infosys employing around 30,000 people.
“In most cases, IT companies have outsourced security as well as transport service. On some occasions, staff of the security agencies or cab services were found involved in crime despite background check,” said Sunil Pailwan, who was previously associated with Hinjewadi Industries Association.
Over the past two decades, top software firms have set up many parks, mini cities and campuses in several cities and thousands of employees live and work in these facilities.
But despite promises of tough security and round-the clock surveillance, reports of crime from these campuses have been mounting in recent years.
In the past, cab drivers working for private contractors were found involved in serious offences in Pune.
In December 2015, a 25-year-old woman, working at the canteen inside the Pune Infosys campus, was allegedly raped by two male housekeeping staff colleagues.
In 2009, another Pune-based software professional Nayana Pujari was raped and murdered by her cab driver and his friend while she was returning home. Jyotikumari Choudhary, a 22-two-year-old employee of a Wipro call center based in Pune’s IT hub Hinjewadi, was raped and her head smashed with stones by the firm’s cab driver and his friend in 2007.
On August 7, 2008, a 22-year-old call center executive at IBM Daksh was gangraped. The police have not yet been able to crack the case.